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A group of approximately 40 youth participating in a program during the holidays at Family Focus celebrated the first day of Kwanzaa, Dec. 26, by lighting the first of seven candles at Fountain Square. Chloe Smith, a seventh grader at Haven Middle School, said Kwanzaa is “an African American holiday that celebrates African American culture.”

There are seven days of Kwanzaa, one for each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

In the afternoon, youth performed the production, “A Kwanzaa to Remember!” at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center. The production featured a multi-cultural cast of Evanston youth who performed skits and choreographed dances, sang songs and recited self-composed poetry.